Album Review – Amanita Virosa / Asystole (2015)

It’s time to go absolutely mental with the extreme and melodic music by this poisonous Finnish band.


amanita-coverImagine one day you’re just wandering aimlessly in the woods when you suddenly spot a harmless and probably edible mushroom, and you think “why not give it a try?” Well, you might be facing one of the deadliest of all known poisonous mushrooms in the world, commonly known as the European destroying angel, which will fatally damage your liver and kidneys, taking you to the Other Side sooner than you expected. The scientific name of that lovely mushroom is Amanita Virosa, thereby chosen to be the name of a demented Finnish band that plays a brutal and melodic mix of different subgenres of metal music, kindly denominated by the band itself as “Hospital Metal”.

Formed in 2008 in the town of Mikkeli, Finland, around 240km from the capital Helsinki, what this talented sextet offers in Asystole, their first full-length album, definitely represents the conjunction of the words “hospital” and “metal” as stated by the band. By the way, in case you don’t know it, in medicine, asystole (colloquially known as flatline) is a state of no cardiac electrical activity, one of the conditions that may be used for a medical practitioner to certify clinical or legal death. And that’s exactly what will happen to you after the ruthless heart-stopping assault of hate, sorrow, mental distress and despair found in the entire album.

The semi-acoustic intro Vita a Mortam (Latin for “life from death”) is a little “tricky”, as it suggests the music will be calm or at most some traditional metal music, but then all hell breaks loose when My Slightest Hope begins, and let me tell you there’s no hope for the faint at heart in this song. It’s dark Symphonic Metal with elements of Black Metal the likes of Dimmu Borgir, with the possessed-like vocals by frontman Clamors together with the keyboards by Cantor Satana standing out amidst the sonic havoc. Even more symphonic and impetuous, I can imagine how fun the band should look on stage playing the awesome …Of Failing, which showcases Cantor Satana and drummer Torsoholocaust as the leaders of a music revolution: they do not stop for a single second at all, making this tune perfect for mosh pits and crowd surfing.

AV_AV_1b_copyIn the bloodthirsty Valuta Vereni Tähän Maahan (Finnish for “drain the blood of this country”), by the way the only track sung in their mother tongue, Amanita Virosa provide us all an ideal soundtrack to a Horror flick mainly due to its rawer and more exotic touch, with Clamors seeming really comfortable growling in Finnish throughout the whole song. Then it’s time for guitarists Kingcohol and Melnik13 (where the fuck did they find those names?) to showcase their skills with powerful riffs and solos in No Life King, an extreme exhibition of violence blended with a beautiful metallic melody where the band shows no mercy for our necks and souls.

Dead Inside is the perfect example of the “Hospital Metal” proffered by Amanita Virosa, where Melodic Death Metal meets Symphonic Black Metal in order to generate a crazy heavy mixture that ends up working pretty well, giving the song a nice desperate vibe and pointing it out as one of the best tracks to be played live. Following that sheer derangement, we have another song focused on keyboards and the deep growls by Clamors, entitled Mental Failure, with highlights to its “psychiatric” intro and its clean but extreme musicality, and the very technical tune Suck The Poison, relatively slower, more melancholic and symphonic than the other tracks, with its keyboards sounding like they’re its spinal cord. And last but not least, Dead Body Love keeps up with the energy found in rest of the album thanks to a powerful performance by the entire band, closing Asystole in a very effective way.

In summary, Asystole is a very good heavy music album that offers something new to the listener even in an era where almost nothing seems original anymore. Therefore, all you have to do now is visit their Facebook and SoundCloud pages, and also buy their music at the Inverse Records webstore, because it’s time to go absolutely mental with the fresh and extreme “Hospital Metal” brought forth by this amazing band from the land of ice and snow. This, my friends, is the only type of poison you should be injecting in your veins.

Best moments of the album: …Of Failing, Valuta Vereni Tähän Maahan and Dead Inside.

Worst moments of the album: Mental Failure.

Released in 2015 Inverse Records

Track listing
1. Vita a Mortam 1:58
2. My Slightest Hope 4:45
3. …Of Failing 4:14
4. Valuta Vereni Tähän Maahan 4:18
5. No Life King 4:38
6. Dead Inside 5:18
7. Mental Failure 4:53
8. Suck The Poison 5:18
9. Dead Body Love 4:06

Band members
Clamors – vocals
Kingcohol – guitar
Melnik13 – guitar
Robustuz – bass
Cantor Satana – keyboards
Torsoholocaust – drums

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